You know your home design project is almost complete when it’s time to install your light fixtures, hooray! You’ve spent lots of time and consideration selecting your beautiful and eye catching fixtures (hopefully with the help of your experienced interior designer ☺!), so you’ll want to make sure they’re installed in the correct and appropriate placements. I’ve created this basic guide to help you with this task for the different rooms in your house. Of course, there would be some exceptions to these in the awkwardly shaped room, or unusual setting, but general speaking this guide works well for most areas. Keep me posted on how they work out in my comments box below, I’d love to hear about your lighting experiences!
So, for the height, the rule of thumb for installing kitchen island pendants is 30"-36" from the surface of your kitchen island. When installing multiple fixtures, the widest part of the fixtures should be spaced a minimum of 24”-30" apart for optimal airflow, light spread, and visibility. This can be adjusted somewhat based on your lighting and island widths. For larger pendants, I keep them at that distance. But for smaller ones, I move them closer together, anywhere from 12”-24” apart, depending on the length of the island you have. Always keep multiple pendants equi-distant apart, unless you’re going for that on-purpose asymmetrical or funky look!
The key to sizing an elongated light fixture is proportion. It’s best to select a light fixture measuring no more than 2/3 the length of the table or island. For an extra long kitchen island, a great effect is hanging a pair of linear fixtures over it. If you’re going for a pair, keep the style of the fixture on the simple side, otherwise it will get too busy looking.
For the height, stick to the rule of thumb by leaving approximately 30"- 36" from the bottom of your fixture to the surface of your dining table. The width of your fixture should be at least 6" narrower than the width of your table. If you plan on moving your dining table around for alternate dining and entertaining options, then it’s best to hang your fixture higher so people can walk underneath it without hitting their heads…typically a good height for that would be 80” off the floor to the bottom of the fixture. I often recommend this for clients who like to have different types of events in their dining room, which can involve moving out their regular dining table. If you don’t need that option, then stay with the standard hanging height of 30”-36” from the table top to bottom of fixture.
Light fixtures should comfortably clear the thresholds of any nearby doors and the heads of all tall family members! lol! Leave a minimum of 7' from the floor to the bottom of the fixture, and 4' from the widest part of the fixture to any surrounding wall, or as close to that as possible. Fixtures should be centered in the entry area while still clearing all doors. If hanging multiple fixtures down a hallway, try to get them equally spaced down the hall as much as possible.
Two-tiered chandeliers and extra large fixtures are perfect for ceilings 10 feet or taller. Please pay attention the "overall height" measurement in each fixture's specifications to ensure the fixture size is appropriate for your tall space. Although, I highly recommend consulting your experienced interior designer on this! You’ll also need to see if you need to purchase extra chain or down rods to install the fixture in your high ceiling. For easy cleaning and light bulb changes, you might want to consider installing the light fixture on a motorized chain. You can easily lower and raise it that way with a flip of a wall switch. My clients are always so glad whenever they make the effort to motorize a high ceiling light fixture, it makes life so much easier then having to drag out an extra tall ladder!